The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded a record $18.5 billion to support long-term disaster recovery in Puerto Rico following Hurricane María.
HUD’s Deputy Secretary Pamela Hughes Patenaude announced the disaster recovery grants with Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón.
These funds are provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program and are intended to address unmet housing needs, economic development, and infrastructure.
The CDBG-DR grant announced represents the largest single amount of disaster recovery assistance ever awarded in HUD’s history and follows $1.5 billion the department allocated to Puerto Rico in February, bringing HUD’s total investment in Puerto Rico’s recovery to $20 billion, agency officials said.
“Today, we are making a historic investment to support our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson.
“These grants will rebuild homes, restore businesses and the people they employ, and address infrastructure needs. In the months and years ahead, we will stand with Puerto Rico every step of the way along the road to recovery,” he said.
“Our goal is to get people back into their homes, get people back to work and to build a stronger Puerto Rico for future generations,” Carson added.
CDBG-DR grants support a variety of disaster recovery activities. Grantees are required to spend the majority of these recovery funds in the “most impacted” areas.
“These funds are crucial to put forth our vision for the new, more resilient Puerto Rico that we want to construct. for our future generations. They will help our Puerto Rican families as we rebuild our homes, businesses and our communities that were devastated by the passage of hurricanes Irma and María on the island,” Rosselló said.
“This good news is the product of our collaborative work with the administration, our local agencies and our partners at HUD,” Rosselló said.
Meanwhile, González -Colón added, “These funds are a substantial tool for economic recovery and I am extremely pleased to see them reach island residents. I continue working to address the needs of the island moving forward.”